I haven't updated P-C in a few days partly because I've been busy (as always), partly because there's no news on the Office Management front (still), and a lot because every time I sat down to write this post I didn't know how to write what I need to write... So I've been putting it off.
Being a feral cat is hard. It's not the worst life, I imagine. It's better than many other kinds of wild animals. It gets a lot easier once you've in a managed community-- getting food and water, and, once you're speutered, free of the dangers of territorial fights and the unhealthy effects of near-constant pregnancies.But still, there's no way of knowing how old the cats in the colony are, with the exception of Paint (who I have yet to introduce to you all because I can't get a good picture of her) and Tuxie, both of whom showed up as kittens this past summer. And there are dangers, mostly from humans. So it's no surprise, although it is sad, when one of the ferals doesn't show up for a long time. Gremlin, for example, has not been seen in a long time. Even more worrisome, Little Grey (Amaranth) hasn't been seen for months now, either.
(Then again, sometimes they just aren't seen for months and months and months and magically reappear, the way Creamsicle did a few weeks ago...)
But it's more surprising, and more definite, when something happens to cats who've been adopted.
Last week I got a phone message from the woman who adopted Dolce, the littlest of the last litter. She'd gotten very, very sick. The vet's best guess was that she was poisoned by something, although she was an indoor cat, and her constant companion (a Chihuahua) is fine. It's hard to process this news, knowing so little, and knowing how young Dolce was, and thinking about her as a tiny bottle-fed kitten. There was little to be done, and what there was was astronomically costly and unlikely to work, and so little Dolce was euthanized.
Then, a few days ago, AZMum wrote to let me know about Gandolf aka Skinny Kitty. You may recall that Gandolf was not actually feral-- in fact, once he started getting regularly fed gooshy food by AZMum, he was quite a lover. AZMum had also been giving him daily insulin shots to take care of his diabetes. When AZMum and her family moved away from the apartment complex, they took Gandolf with them to be their outdoor kitty. Unfortunately, this past weekend Gandolf was attacked and killed by either coyotes or a neighboring dog. I'm grateful that Gandolf got so much more time, thanks to AZMum's care, but of course I'm also very sad to think of him gone.
I don't know how to end this update. I wish I had some cute pictures of kittens or cheerful news about being allowed to TNR, but I don't at the moment.
As for the rest of the colony, life continues, I'm glad to say. I've been feeding them up on the second floor, as per DNL's wishes. No one has taken away the new water bowl. Tuxie seems to live by the food dish, meowing to get my attention whenever I leave my flat. Mistoffolees can be counted on to be around most of the time too. Other regular vistors include Pigpen, Barnaby, Agatha, Walsingham, Bessie, Athos and Aloysius. I'm still regularly seeing Daisy, but not up by the food dish. Paint comes and goes, and again, not usually up by the food. Creamiscle is ghostlike, disappearing into the wood work just as soon as you've come to expect him.
I'll try to update again soon, with something more cheery.